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Allegations Against Pennsylvania Slot Chief Resurrected

24 August 2004

PENNSYLVANIA – As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer: "A Pennsylvania Crime Commission report issued 30 years ago could cause a political problem for Gov. Rendell and his newly appointed gambling board chairman - former Philadelphia police officer and celebrated mob-buster Francis P. Friel.

"The report, issued in March 1974, alleged that Friel was among 33 Philadelphia police officers who allegedly took money from a city nightclub owner in 1972.

"A grand jury investigated the allegation against Friel, a police lieutenant at the time who went on to head the city's organized crime task force. No charges were ever filed, or indictments issued.

"But the unfounded allegations have given fresh ammunition to critics of slots gambling - one of whom urged yesterday that Rendell withdraw Friel as his choice to lead the powerful seven-member board that will regulate the state's new slots gambling industry.

"…The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will regulate the state's 14 authorized slot venues under legislation signed by Rendell on July 5. Friel was appointed Aug. 11 to head the board, which is expected to begin its work by October…"

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